Council hits back in van row

Kimberley Town Council has not acted out of line when dealing with an application to station a jacket potato van in the town centre, councillors have said.

Stephanie Hather was “fuming” after being told at short notice by Broxtowe Borough Council she could not trade in Kimberley.

She said the decision was unfair, and also said she was ill-treated by town councillors, who, she claimed, swayed the borough council’s decision and tried to prevent her trading in the town.

However, this week the town council chairman issued a statement saying he had no involvement in the decision making process.

Councillor Trevor Rood said: “We raised no objections with regards to Ms Hather and her proposals to trade in Kimberley.

“We were in no way involved in the decision making process. It was handled by the borough council.

“The sole concern we expressed was the risk of damage to the Toll Bar Square mosaics – £10,000 was paid for that project in 2003 by the town council.

“Having not been involved in the proposal at all, we could not have made this observation prior to the trial.

“This is an issue that should have been identified by the borough council.”

Ms Hather already sells oven-baked jacket potatoes, breakfast rolls and burgers from her van in Stapleford, Eastwood and Heanor.

She applied earlier this year to work from Kimberley and it was agreed by the borough council, until permission was withdrawn just days before her start date, saying concern had been raised about her van affecting other businesses in the town.

She fought the case and a trial was agreed.

However, the borough council stopped her trading just three weeks into the 12-week trial.

The mum-of-two said: “If it was an issue with the spot I was in, then they would have found somewhere else for me, but they haven’t, which makes me believe they just don’t want me to trade in Kimberley.

“I am fuming. It is just disgusting people can get away with preventing me from making a living. I followed every procedure properly and then I was given a few days’ notice not to trade.”

Stephanie has now logged complaints against the town and borough councils and called for some councillors and officers to resign over the way she has been treated.

Ruth Hyde, borough council chief executive, said the trial was stopped due to concern over the legal right of access over the adopted highway, and the risk of damage to the mosaics.